Another project that has been in progress, and nearing completion, is a monologue concerning the folklore of Wales and how it impacts on a folklorist's demeanour as he searches for answers to our existence and eventually it causes a complete mental collapse in which reality is not all it seems. The narrator, unnamed, tells of The Faery Folk in the extract below.
Carnival originally meant festival of the flesh. That a race of cannibalistic faery folk existed in the British Isles should not be questioned. My field-work during July of 18..., in the county of B……., was thorough. The villagers I spoke to, honest, Christian people, raised to work the land, with nothing to gain by speaking fabrications. The calumny I received from fellow members of the Folklore Society, during my lecture, is unjustified. Some are so set in their beliefs that to question orthodoxy is abhorrent. Without going into minute detail, I will furnish the facts: names have been withheld for obvious reasons. My conversation with the old gentleman, then in his late eighties, confounded me. His mind was so sharp that his recall of detail is astounding. The main actors in the story are long dead. I am able to confirm what the gentleman told me when I perused the written depositions that had been taken at the time; later kept under lock and key at the vicarage. The villagers speak so little of what had occurred during that traumatic period that they are wary of strangers, fearing ridicule if the events are misinterpreted. The vicar believed me when I told him I would be circumspect during my investigations. The old man’s sister, long deceased, had been the object of the strange faery folk who devoured the flesh of her lower right leg that had to be amputated by the apothecary when she had somehow struggled home. It seemed wild animals gnawed her ravaged leg. The cause of this heinous injury, according to the old man, is a curse that had been placed on their great-grandmother, and would enact by vengeance on a future generation, because she disabused one of the faery folk women who had asked for milk to quench her thirst. Anger of the villagers, roused aplenty, when they went to the area where the girl had been mistreated. Most were too afraid to walk across the grass that seemed to be trampled by thousands of marks that resembled imprints of birds’ feet. Minute specks of blood sprayed across stones; there were small pieces of what seemed to be masticated flesh that the blacksmith found. Another interesting aside to the testimonies of the villagers is their belief the faery folk were cursed to their diminutive appearance because they denied the resurrection of Jesus Christ.The girl told her mother she did not know how she came there, for she had been forbidden to go anywhere near the area of the three circles that the faery folk caroused in on Midsummers Day.
She described her attackers as imps: they wore white smocks and red caps. They pummelled her small body as she lay on the ground, unable to move. She could sense little as she cried; longing to be home. Her story, eventually spoken in hushed tones, never is forgotten. The girl grew accustomed to the false leg fashioned for her. She also had strange attacks of lethargy when she grew older and married. She would be asleep for days, then awaken and wonder what the commotion is about when her husband questioned her. She lived till her eighty-third year. Her daughters inherited an ability for languages and knew forbidden knowledge about the lore of the land. I have no comment to make on this as their descendants refused to speak with me.The drawings the apothecary made of her wounds were disturbing and leave little doubt that something occurred that day which had its origin in the distant past of the family when a slight brought such despair generations later. . .
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